Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 13, 2014

Fall of the Donkos

By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun

— As a loyal Denver Broncos fan of over 50 years, I cannot tell you how much this year’s alleged Super Bowl pains me. After two prior weeks of media hype about the Number One Offense pitted against the Number One Defense and the pandering over Peyton Manning’s legacy as the Number One Quarterback of All Time, I just knew it would be a great game — no matter the outcome.

Unfortunately, the dreaded Seattle Seahawks showed up ready to play and the Broncos did not. It is bad enough that my guys got thoroughly spanked, but the worst part is this week’s incessant replays on TV of all their bone-head plays. Even though I only have a passing interest in the Winter Olympics, I find that coverage more refreshing than the “rub the salt in the wounds” reruns from the East Rutherford, N.J. fiasco.

It was immediately apparent that the Donkos (not a typo) were in trouble on the first play from scrimmage. Peyton was set up us usual, waving his hands and barking out all manner of extraneous bull-hockey. Then, as he was tippy-toeing up to the center to bellow out a series of “Omaha!, Omaha!,” the center hiked the ball up off his helmet and it skidded into the end zone for a safety. I believe this set a record for the quickest score in Super Bowl history. And things went down hill from there.

Overall, Denver had four turnovers in addition to that goofy safety. The worst one was toward the end of the first half when the Denver offensive line collapsed and allowed Manning to take a smack as he was trying to deliver the ball to Knowshon Moreno about 15 yards down the field. The ball fluttered up in the air like a wounded mallard in “Duck Dynasty” and Moreno made no attempt to come back for it. Who did come back for it was linebacker Malcolm Smith who caught it and boogied 69 yards the other way for a Seattle touchdown. By the way, Smith also recovered a Denver fumble in the second half and was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVIII.

This scene will be forever etched in my mind. Moreno is standing there with a “Duh! I could have had a V-8!” look on his face; Smith is boogedy-boogedying down the field and the only Bronco in any kind of pursuit is Corsicana’s own Louis Vasquez. Big old Louis (6’ 5” and 335 pounds) is one of the strongest guys in the National Football League but he sadly lacks closing speed on a guy like Smith heading for pay dirt. Vasquez’s huge bright orange number 65 jersey quickly fades from the screen like a Sarasota Bay sunset. Gee, that sounds a bit poetic, if it weren’t so incredibly sad.

Another sad fact is that the 43 to 8 score is not even the worst beating the Broncos have endured in their Super Bowl history. In 1990 (Super Bowl XXIV), the San Franciso 49’ers thumped them 55 to 10 which still stands as the most lopsided score in S.B. history.

For many years, The Good Wife and I attended home Bronco games during the great “Orange Crush” era when we adored players like Craig Morton, Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, and Lyle Alzado. We had a lot of good years and went to Super Bowl XII where we lost to the Dallas Cowboys 27 to 10. I shall never forget Harvey Martin (named co-MVP) stood in the winning locker room and symbolically crushed a can of Orange Crush.

We founded a group of “Bronco Maniacs” during the John Elway years where the group members took turns hosting the games each week at their homes. We all dressed funny and screamed and yelled just like we would in the stands at Mile Hi Stadium. I collected $20 in dues from each couple each week which was to fund a dinner out for all at the end of the season. However, instead of putting the collected funds in the bank, I would promptly fritter them away. Believe me, taking 16 folks out for steak and lobster at the end of the season can really put a crimp in the old VISA Card. But, it was great fun and we have many fond memories.

We had some good years here too and went to the Super Bowl five times. We lost in 1982 to the New York Giants; we lost in 1988 to the Washington Redskins; and we lost in 1990 to San Franciso. But wait — there’s more.

The Broncos finally started to get it right and we won back-to-back Super Bowls — we beat the Green Bay Packers in 1999 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2000. After that 2000 win, John Elway rode off into the sunset and TGW and I rode off to Corsicana, Texas. We have followed our team from afar ever since and have celebrated when they are on top and languished when they have fallen. Oh, sigh.

That’s it for this rant. I guess I’ll go watch some ski-jumping, speed skating, snow boarding, and moguls at the Sushi (I mean Sochi) Olympics. I’ll close with those famous last words of every loser, “Wait til next year!”

See ya...

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Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com